We continue our trip from Whistler to the Canadian Rockies with a stop at Wells Gray national park. I had never heard of Wells Gray Park until I was searching for a route between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies, then I spotted a big green patch on the map and thought I would look into it a little more. From Whistler, it's about a 5,5-hour drive to Clearwater where we had booked a cottage in the woods just outside the park.
Just a 1.5-hour drive from Kamloops, Wells Gray Provincial Park is a worthy destination. Known as Canada’s waterfall park, it boasts 41 named waterfalls. Right now it’s one of British Columbia’s secret gems, but it is growing in popularity for its beautiful waterfalls, hiking, wild water rafting, and canoeing. If you ever start to think there are no places on Earth that can surprise or inspire you, you need to go to this park.
It’s not just about impressive numbers: the waterfalls in Wells Gray are remarkable because they’re easy to access. Almost half the named falls are found in the Corridor, a road that starts at the park’s entrance outside the town of Clearwater.
Cedar Haven Cottage in the woods after a road trip from Whistler we arrived in 5,5 hours at Clearwater where we first stop at the supermarket to buy some food for dinner before we checked in at our cottage. Conveniently located between the town of Clearwater and Wells Gray Park, a small wilderness resort is situated on 30 acres of pristine cedar forest near the base of Raft Mountain, one of the tallest peaks in the Wells Gray Park area. Home away from home! The cabin at Cedar Haven had a private entrance and porch, a full kitchen and dining area, a bathroom, and a living room. There was a Queen bed in the bedroom. Guests are welcome to use the common BBQ, sauna, and picnic tables, as well as the yard and fire pit. You can also sleep in a luxury tent on the property or a single-room cabin. When we were there they were all fully booked. Here the nights are so clear you can count millions of stars in the sky. After dinner, we sit for hours in front of the cottage listening to the sound of the forest and watching millions of stars.
From our cottage, it was just a 10 min drive to the entrance of the park. Take a self-guided tour, and don’t miss the star attraction, Helmcken Falls. It’s the fourth-largest waterfall in Canada, dropping 141 m, and you can see it from a viewing platform accessible from the road. In early spring, you may still be able to see remnants of the ice cone that forms at the Falls’ base in the winter. Dawson Falls is another highlight. Described as a “mini Niagara Falls”, its broad veil stretches 90 m (295 ft) across lava beds. You can see these falls after just a 10-minute walk from the road.
Spahats Creek Falls lies just inside the park gates and is a five-minute walk through the forest.
If you’d like to get some exercise, the park has over 200 km of hiking trails. These lead to falls including Moul Falls, Silvertip Falls, and a closer look at Helmcken Falls via the South Rim Trail.
Visit the Wells Gray Park website to plan your visit. You can drive into the Park as a day trip - visiting all of the main attractions along with the way such as Spahats Falls, Green Mountain Lookout, Dawson Falls, and of course Helmcken Falls - just a few of the 39 waterfalls in the Park. We started our trip from Cedar haven resort to Wells Gray at Spahats Falls a 5 min walk from the parking and a good first step to start your day. After our first waterfall, we drive for 20 min to Moul Falls. To reach Moull Falls it's a 1 to1,5 hour walk to the waterfall. The path is an easy walk and at the end, there is a stairway down to the waterfall where you have an amazing view. It's also possible to walk behind the waterfall. At Moul Falls you easily can stay an hour taking pics, in my opinion, this one is a must-go. After we continue deeper in the park Dawson falls is another amazing waterfall just 20 min from the parking.
We end our trip at Helmcken falls its a great place to end your trip and picnic with a view over the waterfalls. It's a 10 min walk from the parking and you can walk around the waterfall and river. In the evening we drove to Dutch lake to watch the sunset from the restaurant by the camping place. Dutch lake is also a nice place to swim during summer or just enjoy the sun by the lake.
Dutch lake is also a great place to stay as they have cottages by the lake and also room for campers, RV homes
Clearwater and Wells Gray Country are all about experiencing the Canadian wilderness, of open space, wildlife, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, alpine mountains, and above all, the freedom and the means to enjoy it all. Canoe on lakes so clear you can see the bottom, walk-in alpine flowers up to your knees, or spend time around the campfire with friends and family. If this is what you and your family long for, Wells Gray and Clearwater is for you
Wells Gray and Clearwater have a lot on offer that can easily fill a week. From a self-guided tour of Wells Gray Park to guided adventures such as wild water rafting, wildlife tours, canoeing, hiking, and horseback riding, you can even play a round of golf and enjoy the spa. Watch the Salmon migration at Bailey’s Chute and Raft River Viewing Platform and learn about First Nation heritage at the North Thompson River Provincial Park.
Wells Gray is a motorhome / RV paradise, where you can find all the amenities you need, from full hookups to wide parking areas at all the key highlights. If you like something a little different, there are cabins, lodges, guest ranches, hotels, motels, and B&B’s to suit your family’s budget and needs.